A few weeks ago, I was hunting my 5th product on Product Hunt: QApop. That was my first Product Hunt launch as a hunter. I follow all the rules book: answering every comment quickly, asking for support in several groups, asking for help from some influencers.
We did not make it to the top 5 products of the day, unfortunately. We were overtaken by a product overnight and finished the day at the 6th position.
Besides this the launch was a marketing success:
- 261 upvotes
- 346 website visit
- 68 new users
- We sold 50 LTD in 5 days for $2450
We also got valuable user feedback about the product; enough to fill our product roadmap until Q1 2022.
So overall the launch was a success, but looking back on the 5 launches I made, I was wondering: should you really go all-in on the PH launches?
I mean, yes the launch was successful but it was a considerable time investment. I spent more than 30 hours working on this launch.
The 4 other launches I made had a more frill approach:
- Spend 1 hour prepare the launch material (headline & visual)
- The day of the launch I shared it in few Facebook communities
- Monitored comments every hour and only answered negative comments.
The last point is the true time saver. A lot of comments on PH launch are something like “congrats on your launch”. The only thing you can respond to this is something like “thanks”. It takes you some time and focuses to answer those comments, but it won’t drive the conversation further.
Overall this type of “no-frill” launch required about 5 hours of time investment. Of course, this type of launch has no chances to land you in the top 5 of the day but does it really matter?
The chrome extension to analyse the linkedIn hashtag that I hunted for Filt pod, finished the 15th product of the day. This mere performance still led to 150 visits to the chrome store and about 30 installs.
So in comparison to QApop’s launch, we had 56% fewer visits, but this required 6 times less time (83% less time). QApop’s launch generated about 11 visits per hour spend on the launch, while the chrome extension launch got 30 visits per invested hour.
So from an ROI perspective, no-frill launches are better.
You are also never sure if you will get in the top 5 products of the day, as it will depend a lot on the competition. If you follow the best practice to launch at 9:01 (CEE time), to have the most time to harvest upvotes, you won’t know what your competition is. We had the case with QApop that Casba (another member of the Lunadio community) hunted a product on the same day as us.
I haven’t yet launched a product midday in order to check the competition first as recommended by some articles on the topic but from my current experience, I would say it is wiser to go for “no-frill” launch rather than an “all-in” launch.
This is especially true for early-stage startups. Product hunt allows you to re-launch after 6 months if you have a major product update. This is highly likely to happen when you are at an early stage. Also, it is quite unlikely that your first launch will reach the top 5 as a big success factor here is to have a wide emailing list (which is rarely the case for early-stage startups).
So far I only found one other article going against the common window of investing huge amounts of time preparing product hunt launch. The article is from lemlist, so it might be only a french thing.
PS: If you need help with a Product hunt launch, check out my action plan template.